By Lt. Adam Demeter, Recruit Training Command Public Affairs and Sue Krawczyk, Training Support Center Great Lakes Public Affairs
GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- A group of foreign military officers toured the Navy's Recruit Training Command (RTC), Training Support Center (TSC) and its learning sites, Sept. 22.
The 16 Assistant Naval Attaches are on a weeklong trip, sponsored by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), to visit different Navy and Coast Guard commands. They are escorted by Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance Vice Adm. Ted Branch and Director of Intelligence Operations Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless.
"It's important for us to maintain relationships around the world and for our naval allies to get a first-hand look at some of the training, culture and diversity of our Navy," said Branch. "The key to success, like everywhere else in the Navy, is the people that perform the mission. It really is inspiring to come to a place like this and have the opportunity to show how well we're able to turn out a consistent, well-trained and well-motivated Sailor for the fleet."
Rear Adm. Richard A. Brown, commander of Naval Service Training Command (NSTC), hosted Branch, Loveless, and the 16 officers, all from different countries, as they toured the commands to observe training at RTC and the Navy's follow-on "A" schools.
The foreign attaches started at RTC, also known as "The Quarterdeck of the Navy," and went aboard USS Trayer (BST-21), a 210-foot Arleigh Burke-class destroyer simulator, the largest in the Navy.
Trayer is where recruits conduct Battle Stations 21, the capstone event that culminates their eight weeks of boot camp training. Each recruit must complete 17 scenarios during a 12-hour overnight period. The scenarios encompass all training learned during boot camp from firefighting to preventing and stopping flooding in a ship compartment. There are also casualty evacuations, watch standing, loading and unloading supplies, and line handling.
The guests also saw Freedom Hall, the command's state-of-the-art, 187,000 square-foot physical training facility; USS Arizona, a recruit barracks and galley; and the Golden Thirteen -- the in-processing building named after the thirteen enlisted men who became the first African-American commissioned and warrant officers in the United States Navy.
After their time at RTC, the group met with TSC leadership as they received an overview of the command.
The group then proceeded to the Center for Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Diving (CEODD) and Special Warfare Preparatory School to visit with the SEAL Pre-BUDS (Basic Underwater Demolition) and EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) preparatory schools. After completing boot camp, designated students are sent through the Navy Diving and EOD preparatory course to ensure they are prepared for the rigorous training they will experience during their next phase of training. The group saw the physical readiness qualifications in progress.
Next, they visited the Center for Surface Combat Systems Unit's (CSCSU) Operations Specialist (OS) and Quartermaster (QM) "A" school, which offered them a glimpse into the technical training in charting, radar scope operations, and other core specialties of the rates.
"It was great to meet Vice Admiral Branch, Rear Admiral Loveless, Rear Admiral Brown, and the Foreign Naval Attaches and to showcase CSCSU's teamwork as we train our young Sailors into apprentice-level technicians," said Cmdr. Gregory Ludwig, commanding officer for CSCSU. "As we engage in more operations with other navies, it's vitally important that we all understand the capabilities and limitations of our foreign partners. I hope that the Foreign Naval Attaches concluded their tour with a better understanding of our mission, purpose and our role in training Sailors."
The group then continued their visit at Surface Warfare Officer School Command Unit (SWOSCU) with the Basic Engineering Common Core (BECC) strand where they were shown the training facilities of BECC and computer-based training (CBT) classrooms and various labs where they observed the course features in detail. BECC balances CBT training with hands-on training labs, instructor-led classroom training, and the study of fleet equipment in extremely realistic simulations, creating an integrated learning environment (ILE). They wrapped up their visit with a tour of the flat panel diesel simulator and explained how SWOSU prepares students into becoming apprentice technicians.
"When you have a group such as this from different navies, it's interesting to note how some of the navies are very similar as to how we do business, but just use different terminologies," said SWOSU's commanding officer, Cmdr. David Dwyer.
RTC is primarily responsible for conducting the initial Navy orientation and training of new recruits. TSC is the Navy's premier technical training command, responsible for five learning sites that make up the Navy's largest technical training operation.
All enlistees into the U.S. Navy begin their career at boot camp. Training includes physical fitness, seamanship, firearms familiarization, firefighting and shipboard damage control, lessons in Navy heritage and core values, teamwork, and discipline. Since the closure of RTCs in Orlando and San Diego in 1994, RTC Great Lakes is the Navy's only basic training location. Approximately 37,000 recruits graduate annually from RTC to begin their Navy career.
NSTC oversees 98 percent of initial officer and enlisted accessions training for the Navy, as well as the Navy's Citizenship Development program. NSTC includes RTC, the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) at more than 160 colleges and universities, Officer Training Command Newport, and Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Navy National Defense Cadet Corps (NNDCC) citizenship development programs at more than 600 high schools worldwide.